Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, January 18, 2018

Interoperability:  After publishing last week’s Advocate, I received some emails and questions about the whole interoperability issue and why it is a problem for public safety and not for commercial cellular customers. The public safety community has been providing answers about interoperability for years to all who would listen and some in Congress seemed to “get it” when the bill that contained authorization for FirstNet was approved, but a number of them still do not understand the need.

It has always been difficult for those whose only exposure to voice, text, and data communications has been through their use of a cell phone and/or tablet. Commercial networks function like their wired predecessors for voice. If you want to talk to someone, you dial a 10-digit number, the phone on the other end rings, and either the person you want to talk to answers the call or it goes to voice mail. If you want to talk to multiple people at once, you need to establish a conference call, which takes even longer to set up. The advent of 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless broadband systems saw the addition of text, data, and video services but here again, you text someone by typing in their phone number and the text you want to send. If you want to watch a video, you go to a website, select a file, and it starts streaming to your phone. If you want to send a picture or video, you can send it to one person at a time if you know their phone numbers.

If this is your starting point for understanding wireless communications systems, it is no wonder you are confused about public safety’s claim that they have been unable to communicate with neighboring agencies or even between fire and police in the same city. If you can simply dial anyone, anywhere, on any network, why should public safety have this problem? The answer is a combination of the effect of spectrum allocations by government and the fact that public safety systems are designed to cover specific geographic areas. Read the Entire Post Here

Discovery Patterns Weekly News Summary Follows:

LMR licensing activity in the US reaches record-low levels in 2017, according to FCC databaseUrgent Communications
Jan 18 02:40 Overall, the FCC has approved 13,430 applications that were submitted in 2017 for new and modified licenses in the public-safety and business-industrial arenas, based on ULS data available on Wednesday. Even if all 263 of the pending 2017 license applications were granted, the number of 2017 …

ANALYSIS: Expect much smaller money in the 600 MHz auctionCartt.ca
Jan 17 18:55 AT&T spent $1 billion on 600 MHz spectrum, but just announced they are selling it. In fairness, this may not mean that AT&T doesn’t want low band spectrum. They won the bid to supply First Net with a public safety broadband network and that lets them use 20 MHz of First Net’s 700 MHz spectrum when …

Cellphone jamming system tested at Maryland prisonWATE 6 On Your Side
Jan 17 16:40 FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has signaled willingness to work on the issue, telling members of Congress he would put together a working group to address “the proliferation of contraband wireless devices in prisons and the potentially devastating implications for public safety.” Williams said Justice, which …

FCC chairman: Hawaii didn’t have ‘reasonable’ safeguardsGkMen
Jan 17 07:40 The system has come under growing scrutiny in recent months, with public safety officials complaining that it requires upgrades on several fronts. Congresswoman Gabbard is with us now. Catt said. “So, there wasn’t much we could do”. Outside of the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, Gabbard said …

FCC chairman plans to boost broadband in rural AmericaAgri-Pulse
Jan 17 00:51 However, in a briefing last week, Grace Kho, the White House’s special assistant for technology, telecommunications and cybersecurity, cautioned that expanding rural broadband will take time. This is not going to be a sprint. This will be a long time of — a long process of figuring out how to exactly move …

DHS S&T and Israeli Partners Call for Proposals on Advanced First Responder TechnologiesNewswise
Jan 16 16:40 Small businesses who were awarded contracts through this partnership are working on promising cutting-edge technologies such as unmanned search and rescue systems, public safety off-network broadband communications, and a separate autonomous drone-based search & rescue solution to help …

FirstNet’s Schrier on New Public-Safety Meetings, App Interoperability and PrivacyRadioResource Media Group
Jan 16 13:53 AT&T executives will also participate in the meetings. They are not presenting or selling but determining what public safety’s needs are, he said. We’re going to listen to what their apps are today and what they need. AT&T will be at the table to ask questions. Schrier said most applications will be …

Public Safety Network: A Boon for Tower Operators in 2018Zacks.com
Jan 11 08:40 Notably, in March 2017, AT&T was selected by FirstNet to build and manage the first nationwide broadband network dedicated to America’s police, firefighters and emergency medical services. As part of the 25-year contract, FirstNet will provide AT&T with a swath of 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz …

FCC Proposes $500M for Rural BroadbandLight Reading
Jan 18 06:30 FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to reform the universal service fund.

FCC pushes for rural broadbandBrownfield
Jan 18 05:00 The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is calling for more high-speed broadband in rural areas. Ajit Pai says there needs to be more internet access in sparsely populated areas to close the digital divide. His order would provide more than $500 million to cooperatives and small rural carriers to build more online infrastructure, create new rules to prevent abuse and reform’s the FCC’s high-cost program. Continue reading FCC pushes for rural broadband at Brownfield Ag News.

Lawmakers Blast FCC’s Mobile Broadband ProposalMediaPost Communications
Jan 17 17:00 “Without adequate service deployment and accurate data collection for both fixed and mobile, our rural and national economy will suffer,” the lawmakers add. “Every American who has ever had to ask ‘Can you hear me now?’ while on their cell phone or has had to wait for buffering when streaming a …

Wireless Narrowband Communication in the Environment of the Internet of Things and Machine toSmart Grid Demand Response
Jan 17 03:52 Salzburg Research invites to a workshop on 08.02.2018 on Wireless Narrowband Communication in the Environment of the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine Communication. Digital transformation is finding its way into almost all areas of life and industry. The development of the Internet of

Telstra adds narrowband capability to Australia’s leading IoT networkTicker In
Jan 17 00:35 Telstra announced a major step forward in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Australia with the successful deployment of Narrowband technology in its IoT Network. Telstra now offers Narrowband coverage in major Australian cities and many regional towns. This is in addition to the

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro joins lawsuit against the FCC over net neutrality rollbackPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jan 16 23:55 In the wake of a controversial move by the Federal Communications Commission to deregulate the broadband industry, a group of 22 attorneys general including Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania has sued the commission for its repeal of net neutrality rules. The group filed a petition for review in the …

FirstNet’s availability should ‘raise all boats,’ drive public-safety innovation, competitionUrgent Communications
Jan 16 18:40 At best, by virtue of offering a new competitive choice for public-safety communications, it will be an engine for the continued development and implementation of reliable, state-of-the-art communications technologies for first responders. The availability of FirstNet in the marketplace will raise all boats and …

FCC Attempts to Weaken Broadband StandardNo Jitter via Business Communications Review
Jan 11 06:30 By Martha Buyer Rather than hold providers accountable, the Commission wants to lower speed requirements and loosen definition of competition.

The Coming Fiber Construction BoomLight Reading
Jan 11 02:35 “Americans are frustrated with the slow pace of broadband deployment” is a sad clich. According to FCC data for 2016 (the most recent available), 21% of census blocks — home to 10% of the US population — have no provider offering fixed broadband service at the Commission’s 25/3 Mbits/s standard, …

McGinnis, Sorley Criticize Verizon Pitch to Public Safety

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board member Kevin McGinnis and Tom Sorley, chair of FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, criticized Verizon Communications, Inc., today, suggesting that the carrier’s public safety broadband offering pales in comparison to the FirstNet plan being offered by AT&T, Inc., and complaining about statements attributed to Verizon.

The criticism of Verizon came during a meeting this afternoon via teleconference of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council. Verizon is trying to compete with AT&T’s FirstNet offering building its own public safety core and also touting priority access and preemption.

Mr. McGinnis said Verizon has made incorrect statements about its network, including suggesting it has the only public safety grade LTE system. “That is simply not true,” he said. “Verizon does not have the unique public-private partnership to provide that oversight that FirstNet was built in with. Its responsibly is to its shareholders,” he also said.

He also disputed any suggestion that Verizon’s public safety core could be integrated with the FirstNet core. “That is simply a very, very difficult construct,” Mr. McGinnis said. “It would create extra layers of complexity in implementing the whole network and it would create unnecessary security complexity and risks.” He also suggested that Verizon’s offering of priority service and preemption was “too little, too late,” noting that the carrier did not submit a bid in response to FirstNet’s request for proposals (RFP). Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, December 14, 2017

News and Commentary
It has been an interesting few weeks. As of now, FirstNet/AT&T has 36 of the 56 states and territories opted in, New Hampshire has opted out, and the deadline for opting out is fourteen days away. I say for opting out since if a state opts in by December 28, that is great for FirstNet, but if states don’t make any decision they will have opted in by default. It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out over the holidays. Also, this week, Verizon, once again, has decided not to bid on a FirstNet system. In this case, it is California. Verizon stated it will not submit a proposal to the state of California because FirstNet and AT&T have the system rigged. That is the second time instead of bidding on the project Verizon has made an excuse not to bid. It now appears as though Verizon’s only desire is to keep its existing public safety customers and perhaps convince a few more to join them.

I don’t understand Verizon’s recent moves. It did not show up to bid on the RFP, after the award to AT&T it said it had looked at it but did not need the spectrum for secondary use, but that it has always supported the public safety community, which is true, at least for the past ten years. After the RFP award, during last year’s APCO conference, Verizon announced it would build a duplicate network including a core and provide Band 14 services to its public safety customers. There are two issues with that, the first being that FirstNet holds the license for Band 14 so Verizon cannot simply put its customers on Band 14. If it is really to offer Band 14, a second SIM would be required in the device and another contract would have to be in place with AT&T. The other issue is that the way the law reads there will be only one public safety core (redundant of course) and therefore every public safety user on Band 14 must be connected to that core, and it is mandated that the one core will be built, managed, and operated by AT&T. For the past few months Verizon has been quiet and now it claims it won’t bid the California RFP because FirstNet and AT&T are not playing fair. Based on what I have seen, I am not convinced upper-level management at Verizon is 100 percent onboard with these efforts.

It will also be interesting to watch New Hampshire. It appears as though the first order of business for the state is to negotiate a full contract with Rivada. I certainly hope New Hampshire protects itself against the possibility that when the losses start to pile up for the vendor, the state is not stuck with the bill. The state and Rivada now have 180 days to provide a plan to the FCC to ensure that the Radio Access Network (RAN) build-out in the state will be fully compatible with FirstNet and that it will be upgraded as FirstNet/AT&T upgrades its network. It would have been fascinating if the state had opted out earlier because then we would have a parallel course between FirstNet and the state to see how both systems are developed and built out. As it stands now, New Hampshire will be somewhat behind the curve in implementing its network simply due to the federal agencies that need to approve the RAN (FCC), award a grant (NTIA), and enter into a spectrum lease for Band 14 (FirstNet). Read the Entire Blog Here 

FirstNet gives Texas emergency workers ‘ruthless preemption’ on cellphone networksSan Antonio Express-News
Dec 13 14:00 Ruthless preemption basically processes their messages and data before all others under the First Responder Network Authority plan, or FirstNet, a national public safety broadband network run by AT&T. Preemption shifts non-emergency traffic to another line when the line becomes crowded, allowing …

AT&T launches preemption for FirstNet customersRCR Wireless News
Dec 13 12:25 That category includes fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, emergency managers, dispatch and Public Safety Answering Points, according to AT&T. Some limited priority for public safety traffic has been offered by wireless carriers over the years, but it has typically carried extra charges …

Missouri To Opt Into FirstNetWireless Week
Dec 12 14:25 Officials from FirstNet said that their discussions with Missouri included expanding wireless coverage particularly in rural areas and allocating network assets that could be deployed as needed to support public safety. First responders in the state received immediate access to AT&T’s existing LTE …

Sununu decision on emergency responder network due todayThe Union Leader
Dec  7 06:10 In New Hampshire’s case, that would mean creating a New Hampshire network with Rivada, one of the unsuccessful bidders that pursued the FirstNet contract to build the network, which went to AT&T. The state already has a tentative contract with Rivada, depending on Sununu’s final decision, which is …

LA-RICS reaches agreement with AT&T on transfer of region’s public-safety LTE network for FirstNetUrgent Communications
Dec 14 00:25 Incorporation of the LA-RICS LTE systemthe largest early builder public-safety LTE network in the countryinto FirstNet has been a priority for LA-RICS officials. In addition, Edson repeatedly has noted that LA-RICS built its cell sites to the public-safety-grade standard established by the National …

FirstNet will better assist first responders with communication during emergenciesNTV
Dec 13 18:40 Communication between first responders in disasters and emergencies are critical when lives are in danger. National FirstNet Broadband Project was created to help enhance public safety communications and to keep first responders connected in emergency situations. “After the 9/11 attacks on our …

FirstNet launches preemption as Verizon bows out of California RFPFierceWireless
Dec 13 17:00 AT&T and FirstNet launched ruthless preemption, giving first responders top priority to its network even during times of extreme congestion. …

First state opts out as AT&T’s FirstNet proposals reach crucial final weeksxmlpush
Dec 13 15:45 With just a little more than two weeks remaining before the deadline, 36 states and territories have opted into the nationwide network for first responders that will be built by AT&T (NYSE: T). But uncertainty remains for the Dallas telecom, which is contracted by the U.S. government’s FirstNet Authority for the job: 19 states and territories have yet to announce their choice, while one recently became the first to opt-out. Last week, New Hampshire…

The Downside of Net NeutralityScientific American
Dec 13 12:35 We particularly like that the FCC is now proposing to, Restore the determination that mobile broadband is not a ‘commercial mobile service’ subject to heavy-handed regulation. Essentially, the principles of the 2015 framework aimed to ensure equal treatment of traffic passing through networks.

FirstNet activates preemption for opt-in state usersStateScoop
Dec 13 10:55 With preemption, FirstNet users will not have to compete with normal commercial mobile traffic. Instead, first responders will have access to voice, text, apps and mobile internet service, regardless of how many users in a single place are accessing AT&T’s network. The service shifts non-emergency traffic …

Commerce Files One More Response Prior to Hearing on FirstNet FOIA CaseMissionCritical
Dec 13 10:03 Attorneys for the Department of Commerce (DOC) submitted one last response to a lawsuit surrounding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) before the case moves to a court hearing Dec. 15. read more

Results of 2017 National EAS Test Show ImprovementTV Technology
Dec 12 19:40 WASHINGTONA preliminary analysis of results from the 2017 nationwide EAS test in September show overall improvement compared to last year’s test, but the performance of TV broadcasters appears to have slipped slightly in one key area, according to a public notice from the FCC’s Public Safety …

How Much Does AT&T Stand To Gain From FirstNet?Forbes
Dec 12 15:30 Earlier this year, AT&T won a 25-year contract from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to build and run the first broadband network that will cater …

Federal initiative to focus on broadband access for rural cancer patientsAmerican Hospital Association
Dec 14 08:15 The Federal Communications Commission and National Cancer Institute have signed a memorandum of unde…

FCC Boss Claims Net Neutrality Hurts Small ISPs, But The FCC’s Own Data Proves OtherwiseTechdirt Corporate Intelligence
Dec 14 08:15 By now we’ve noted countless times how the claim that net neutrality hurt broadband investment is indisputably false . It’s not a debate. Public SEC filings, earnings reports, and numerous CEO statements to investors (who, unlike you, they’re legally not allowed to lie to) have disproven this canard. Data suggesting otherwise usually originates with ISP-paid economists more than willing to twist, distort, cherry pick and massage the numbers until they comply with whatever message is…

Preemption services now available for FirstNet primary users in opt-in statesHomeland Preparedness News
Dec 14 08:15 Now, with the launch of preemption on FirstNet, for the first time, public safety is ensured a ‘fast lane’ to connect. FirstNet will provide reliability, confidence and ability for first responders to be able to communicate during emergency operations. Virginia was first in to opt in, and we’re all in to ensure …

Why Dish Network Needs To Roll Out Services For Its Spectrum HoldingsForbes
Dec 13 14:35 In March this year, Dish Network raised $1 billion in debt to finance wireless and spectrum-related strategic transactions. In July, reports surfaced that Dish Network and Amazon could partner to set up a narrow band Internet of Things (IoT) network. While Dish has remained tight-lipped about any …

Thales to Supply Multiband Tactical Radios to ArmyExecutiveBiz
Dec 13 09:45 IMBITR is designed to support interoperability between joint and coalition forces through narrowband, wideband and satellite communications networks. The service branch ordered the radios as part of a network modernization initiative. SFABs are tasked to assist, advise and collaborate with foreign …

Summarizing the harms of the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rulesAmerican Enterprise Institute
Dec 13 09:15 The FCC proposes to strengthen transparency provisions so that consumers and innovators have more information about their broadband connection including network management, performance, and commercial terms. Ideally, consumers will use this information to drive greater customization of …

FirstNet launches ruthless-preemption functionality for ‘primary’ public-safety subscribersUrgent Communications
Dec 12 17:40 After the carrier was awarded the FirstNet nationwide contract in March, AT&T officials vowed that preemptive access would available to primary public-safety FirstNet subscribers by the end of the year. While some public-safety entities have used commercial broadband services for years to support …

FirstNet documents reportedly leaked in VermontRCR Wireless News
Dec 12 12:40 At the time, Whitaker criticized the rejection of the FoIA request and told the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council in an email that there was a need for more transparency by FirstNet and precisely what privacy, reliability and accountability compromises we are being asked to make …

Massive IoT, the new focus of IoT standardization: 5G AmericasTelecom Lead
Dec  7 04:15 Today, Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) is already gaining attention and it is anticipated that cellular-based technologies such as LTE-M (Machine) and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) will become the leading LPWA standards by 2020. This would allow operators to choose from several Cellular IoT (CIoT) …

Digital communications are revolutionising the railway businessITWeb
Dec  7 02:15 Then there is LTE’s narrowband component, a low-power, highly dedicated way to add sensors and other IOT systems to the railway without deploying a new wireless network. “It costs billions to maintain all the equipment every year,” Frisch explained.” Just saving a tiny bit of that maintenance cost will …

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, December 7, 2017

Public Safety Networks LMR and FirstNet Working Together

There is still a lot of confusion out in Public Safety and elected official land about the future of Land Mobile Radio (LMR) as FirstNet is deployed, and there is still the issue of the eleven major metro areas slated to lose the T-Band and their LMR systems if we cannot convince Congress to make some changes to the law. I was happy to see that during the recent webinar held by Mission Critical Magazine, Chester County, PA speakers were questioned as to whether LMR will be replaced by FirstNet, they responded with a resounding NO! (Chester County was the first countywide fire dispatch system I designed and installed in the early 1970s.) However, it seems there is still an issue of spreading the word, not so much to the public safety community but to IT departments and elected and appointed officials responsible for the budgets, both capex and opex, that fund LMR systems.

It is no wonder some people are confused since we keep seeing comments, press releases, and experts talking about how soon Mission Critical Push-To-Talk (MCPTT) is coming to FirstNet, and how some still believe the off-network 3GPP standard known as ProSe will be a factor. However, even the developers of the public safety system in the United Kingdom have realized they won’t be able to provide reliable off-network PTT over LTE. For that reason, they are planning to use Tetra radios with simplex or talk-around. The more the experts talk about the technology issues with Mission Critical PTT, the more they seem to be losing sight of the fact that the technology over the network is only part of the issue. If the network itself is not mission-critical, PTT over the network cannot be mission-critical, even if it is called “Mission Critical PTT” (MCPPT).

It is, I believe, vitally important that those in government who make decisions about funding LMR radio systems, upgrading them, keeping them running and operational understand the dilemma the standards body, labs, and pro-MCPTT folks have created for the public safety community. There have been instances where public safety officials are presenting their next year’s budget and they are questioned by the budget committee about why public safety still needs to invest in LMR technology. The public safety officials usually make a good case for why, but one or more of the budget committee members have heard from technology experts that MCPTT will be real and will be rolled out in 2018. They simply do not understand that every day public safety bets their lives on their communications systems. Read the Entire Blog Here Continue reading

Andy Seybold Public Safety Advocate, November 30, 2017

FirstNet Coverage and PTT. I hope everyone who was able to take time off for Thanksgiving enjoyed the holiday and I want to thank all the public safety personnel who worked last Thursday so the rest of us could spend time with our families and friends. During our trip east, I was keeping tabs on coverage provided by AT&T where we were traveling and while in several states, I talked with the public safety community about today’s AT&T coverage and what might still be needed. Even though a state such as Arizona or Maine has already opted in to FirstNet, it does not mean the public safety agencies are required to make use of the FirstNet/AT&T broadband network. However, since AT&T has already invested a lot of money in the public safety community, and has allocated more money and resources to bring FirstNet up and operational as soon as possible, AT&T would like to have as many public safety customers onboard as possible.

In Arizona where the overwhelming perception within the public safety community was that AT&T’s coverage is not as good as at least one other network operator’s coverage, those who have acquired AT&T devices and done some testing have found that AT&T coverage has increased since they last looked at it. Granted, there are still some spots that need to be covered but several public safety agencies have stated that the FirstNet/AT&T coverage in their jurisdiction is sufficient to join FirstNet and then work with AT&T, federal grants, or in some cases even self-funding additional coverage that AT&T will then include in its overall footprint. There are still some major differences in coverage in some areas, but while it is not possible to see the official FirstNet/AT&T coverage maps over the build-out period, reviewing coverage maps on FirstNet.com shows that most of the areas of concern will be covered.

One thing I have found confusing not only for FirstNet/AT&T coverage but for the other nationwide networks as well, is that it is difficult to identify where a network operator owns and runs its own network and where it has contracted with rural carriers to provide coverage to their subscribers. This is important to know because some rural carriers have not yet rolled out LTE and are offering only 2G and 3G, and we are not privy to their build-out plans. I believe that because of the increased push for rural coverage for first responders, as well as the need to provide coverage for rural businesses and citizens, we will see a renewed effort by all of the carriers. As I have mentioned before, we are having success with county and tribal governments that know they want and need coverage beyond what FirstNet/AT&T will bring to their rural areas. Read the Entire Blog Here Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, November 18, 2017

Unanswered Questions

Last week I attended and moderated a panel at the IWCE LTE Communications forum in Dallas. The event was well attended, the panel sessions were very good and informative, and I was able to meet and spend time with more Advocate readers and others. All in all, it was a good trip and well worth it. However, during the forum I asked two questions and neither was answered to everyone’s satisfaction. The answers were vague and did not address what I consider to be the current needs of the public safety community.

The first question had to do with why, after all this time, 5G will still be asynchronous (faster from the cell site to the device than from the device to the cell site). The second question concerned open standards and the ability for public safety agencies to make use of Push-To-Talk (PTT) applications they currently use or want to use. The questions were asked during different panels but the answers were similar and what I consider to be non-answers. During one of the breaks I was approached by a number of people who said they had the same questions and the responses they heard did not provide them with any real answers.

Based on the responses I received and the other attendees’ expressions of frustrations, I decided I would highlight these questions and discuss why the responses do not address the communications needs of the public safety community today. Both responses dealt with things becoming better sometime in the future (unspecified how long). Also in both cases, it was clear that no one is considering near-term solutions to help with day-to-day operations of the public safety community. Even after the final standards are published, there will have to be some tweaks to make today’s solutions compatible.  Read the Entire Blog Here Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, November 10, 2017

FirstNet’s Competition. The law that created FirstNet is very clear when it comes to states and territories opting in or out of FirstNet. There are two ways to opt in: The governor of the state or territory decides to opt in by the December 28, 2017 deadline, or the governor simply does nothing in which case the opt in for that state is automatic. Opting out requires the state to provide the FCC, within 180 days, a plan demonstrating that the Radio Access Network (RAN), the only portion of the network authorized by law for states to build on their own, will be 100-percent compatible with the FirstNet network. The state will then negotiate a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for some of the network. As a final step, there must be a spectrum lease agreement between the state and FirstNet. All of this is called out in the law Congress passed in 2012. These are not conditions imposed by FirstNet.

Now if a state opts out, the FirstNet mandate is that the radio access network provided by the state or its vendor must be connected to the FirstNet core when public safety users populate the FirstNet network. FirstNet has also said that secondary users may, in fact, be routed to a different core located within the state or operated by the vendor. Again, ALL public safety traffic is to be routed to the FirstNet core. This makes sense when you understand this is to be a nationwide network sharing resources and applications that is usable across the entire nation.

Once a state has opted in there are no additional federal rules that impact public safety agencies within the state. Each agency has the option to join the FirstNet system, with its existing broadband provider, or to not use any broadband services. This local level is the area in which competition is occurring. Verizon has said it will actively seek to keep its existing public safety customers and to add more customers. It is also trying to obtain permission to host its own public safety core. Both FirstNet and AT&T are opposed to this with good reason. Having multiple standalone cores does not lend itself to fulfilling the goal of full interoperability this network was envisioned to provide. I have been told by experts in the field that if the cores are connected to each other the overall system will be more difficult to secure from a cybersecurity perspective, which is high on the list of network priorities.  Read the Entire Blog here Continue reading